Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Week's Menu Plan


I've been winging it with the meal plan, but I shop more efficiently with one, so here it is for this week.  I hope to get all I need with one stop at Aldi and one stop at Trader Joe's.  Our milk (raw), some eggs (from pastured chickens), and our fruit (fresh peaches) come from local farms, not the stores.


Breakfast Choices:
Almond Banana Pancakes
Eggs and Fruit
Turkey Sausage (add onion) and Fruit
Coconut Milk Smoothies

Lunches:
Leftovers from the evening before

Dinners:
Monday - Rockin' Moroccan Chicken*
Tuesday - Portobello BLT's with Chicken and Avocado, Salad
Wednesday - Wild Salmon Salad*
Thursday - Spice Rub Slow-Cooked Chicken*, Sweet Potatoes, Salad
Friday - Sundried Tomato Chicken Slaw*
Saturday - Marvelous Meatballs*, Green Beans
Sunday - Nitrate-free Chicken Hot Dogs & Sweet Potato Oven Fries

*The recipes are also found in the book, Everyday Paleo, which I currently have from the library.  I was in need of some meal planning inspiration and this book, with the updated photos, has been perfect!  I highly recommend it.  It has a ton of recipes, lots of friendly advice, and even workout samples, too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Paleo Italian Salad Dressing Recipe

It's kind of funny, I went to Costco awhile back to get some balsamic vinegar to combine with some olive oil for a salad dressing.  They Costco store I went to that day didn't have the balsamic vinegar that I had seen at the other Costco we frequent, but they did have a large bottle or red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar packaged together for only $3-something.  So, I bought them, and soon after, came upon this salad dressing recipe that calls for red wine vinegar.  Perfect!  I like that it makes a good-size amount, it contains no added sugar, and it really is a flexible/tweak-able recipe as Sarah says.  It is very potent!  We make this often since we frequently add salads to meals.  I would like to try it as a chicken marinade, too.

Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar (or experiment with a combo of other vinegars or lemon juice)
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder or dried minced onion
2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried or prepared mustard (take your pick)

Combine ingredients in a jar. Store tightly covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator (will need to let the olive oil come to room temp. before serving.)  Shake well before pouring. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homemade Larabars

I love Larabars, but never buy them because of the price... I can't wait to make this version of homemade Larabars (using almond butter, of course)!

Updated 12/23/12: these cashew cookie babies are so easy and are now my favorite larabar to make.

Trader Joe's Visit & Menu Plan

Monday:

We just got back from a week of living under the sunshine and on the water, and now we are returning into the regular routine.  After a week of non-paleo eating, I am looking forward to getting back on track!

We have a Trader Joe's now :) :) :)  I hope to check it out this week.

It took me forever to make a menu plan and shopping list today.  I think I need to keep up the habit, so I stay efficient at it.  It keeps me from wasting time and money.

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Wednesday:

OK.  So.  I experienced Trader Joe's.  Don't love it.  But, I like it.  TJ's is very much like a gourmet Aldi, and understandably so since they are owned by the same German family, I've heard.  My conclusion: On organic, whole foods, prices are still better at Costco, and selection is better at Whole Foods.  And on the non-organic stuff, Costco and Aldi win on prices, and the regular grocery store wins on selection.  So, to make that clear, the only stuff that Trader Joe's has the best price on (for me) is on organic, whole foods that I can't get at Costco, like the organic sweet potatoes I bought yesterday.  Did I lose you???  Anyone disagree?   Trader Joe's is a fun store to shop at!  Also, it is great for 1-stop shopping if I don't want to run around for quality food at decent prices, and so I'm sure I will go there again.

I went 4 days after the grand opening.  It was so packed that I had to break out the umbrella stroller just to make the hike with my kids from the next parking lot over.  (Then, I had to stick it in the shopping cart, what a nerd I am.)  Anyways, I went in with my list and 2 kids (1 cranky one) and came out with $100 in groceries.  Everyone else was milling around buying 1, 2, or 3 items.  The check-out person commented that this must not be my first time to visit a Trader Joe's.  I told him actually it was, but I had done my research :)  I ended up buying more than planned, because while there I got a case of what is called the "eff-its" and spent $10 more than necessary just so I wouldn't have to run to Aldi later in this heat.

Here's what we are eating this week-

Breakfasts:
Choose from...
Eggs
Fruit
Smoothies
Chicken-Apple Sausage
Paleo Banana Muffins (will share the recipe if it works)
Raw Milk

Dinners (leftovers for lunches):
Shepherd's Pie (w/ sweet potatoes)
Cashew Chicken and Green Beans
Fish Taco Salad
Cobb Salad
Grilled Bratwurst/Hamburgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Cabbage Roll Soup

Other/snacks:
Leftover Trail Mix (from vacation)
Carrots
Fresh Local Peaches :)
Nuts (I need to carry these with my at all times, so that I don't fall for the ever-present desserts at work!!)

PS - If you are bored with your workout routine, you gotta try CrossFit!  The best part: it doesn't take hours a day.  My husband converted me, and I converted my sister-in-law :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2 Summer Recipes

Here are two new recipes I tried in the past two days:


My thoughts:
Well, I let my kids have this for breakfast.  They thought ice cream for breakfast was awesome.  I put almond butter in it, and no walnuts or chocolate.  It was delicious.  In fact, I want some right now.  But it was a lot of work for my wimpy blender.  I had to keep adding tiny amounts of water and milk as I was pulsing the bananas to a puree (which took awhile).  Will I make it again?  Probably, but I might try some non-frozen bananas before adding the frozen ones, and also make sure my frozen ones are in little slices, not quartered bananas like they were this time.  Perhaps a food processor would handle this recipe better?


My thoughts:
Tasty.  More work than I am used to for a recipe, but it was do-able.  My husband thought they were weird, but I think that is just because they were something new.  They were messy to eat and my littlest one didn't eat any, but he usually eats one meal super-lightly each day anyways (and he'd just had snacks and milk).  Will I make it again?  If it were just for me, yes.  For the family, we'll see.